Saturday 14 September, 2019
ON an emotional night and in front of the biggest crowd for several years Stoke lost out 50-40 to table toppers Leicester Lion Cubs in the final ever speedway meeting to take place at Loomer Road on Saturday night in the National League.

The Potters went in front in heat three as Jack Smith and skipper Luke Priest combined for a 4-2 heat advantage over Dan Thompson.

The lead was short lived though as the Lion Cubs gained a 5-1 in heat five as Luke Ruddick and Anders Rowe kept Priest at bay and the visitors followed this up with a 4-2 heat advantage to lead 16-20 after six heats. Leicester piled on the pressure and took a further 5-1 advantage in heat eight as Terry-Daley and Ruddick combined to keep Alcock at bay.

Connor Coles and Priest gained a 5-1 in the following race to reduce the deficit to just four points with the Potters trailing 29-25 after nine heats.

The Lion Cubs then gained two successive 5-1’s to take control of the meeting and lead 39-27 after eleven races virtually sealing victory.

Stoke struck back again with a 5-1 of their own as Joe Alcock made a great start holding Dan Thompson at bay, Alcock looking for his partner managed to force Dan Thompson into a mistake allowing Priest to come through and bring the house down as the Potters trailed 40-32.

A couple of drawn heats saw the Potters remain 8-points down before Danyon Hume took the chequered flag for the last official National League meeting held at Loomer Road as he was followed home by Coles and Dan Thompson for a Lions Cubs 4-2 sending the Potters to a 50-40 defeat.

Potters team manager Adam Isherwood commented “It has been a very emotional night and although we have unfortunately lost the result really doesn’t matter. We had some terrific racing tonight from both teams with a big crowd in and everyone gave their all. It was strange in the pits tonight before the meeting it was like we’d come to a funeral; well we have in some ways, haven’t we? It’s really sad to see this old place go, but we’ve given the club and stadium a good send off and I’m sure the packed crowd in hear tonight enjoyed the racing and it shows there is support for speedway in this area.”

STOKE 40: Connor Coles 15+1, Joe Alcock 9+1, Luke Priest 7+2, Jack Smith 7. Shelby Rutherford 2, Kieran Douglas 0, Joe Lawlor r/r
LECIESTER 50: Dan Thompson 11, Danyon Hume 10+1, Anders Rowe 9+1, Luke Ruddick 8+3, Ryan Terry-Daley 5, Joe Thompson 4+2, Josh Embleton 3+1